It’s already September. Our children are going to be heading back to school after a relaxing summer vacation. Not only are classes back in session, but fall sports games are right around the corner, too. We’re urging players and parents to learn about sports injury prevention so that we all can enjoy a safe and healthy school year. Stick to these guidelines to avoid sustaining devastating injuries and exacerbating pre-existing conditions:
- Avoid contact with the head and neck area whenever possible. For athletes that participate in football, ice hockey, lacrosse, and any other high-impact sport, this tip is especially important.
- Ensure that you are properly maintaining all of your equipment. Only wear and use equipment as recommended by the manufacturer.
- When selecting your equipment, make sure that fits properly. For example, wearing a correctly fitting helmet is of the utmost importance for football players, as it can help with spine stabilization in case of injury.
- Enact an emergency action plan that has been approved and practiced by coaches, administrators, and medical personnel.
- Seek immediate professional care when a spine-related injury is suspected. The longer you wait, the more damaging the injury might end up being.
- Refrain from touching and moving a player that may have sustained a head, neck or spine injury. Even attempting to remove a player’s helmet can forever change the course of his or her health. Wait until the appropriate medical professionals have arrived. They will be able to properly handle and assess any injury.
Football has the greatest number of spine injuries in the United States. However, these injuries can be incurred from participation in a variety of activities such as gymnastics, swimming, diving, baseball, track and field and many more. With proper precautions and a strict emergency plan, our children will be safe all year long.